Magazine article USA TODAY

CFOs Fear U.S. in for Long Haul

Magazine article USA TODAY

CFOs Fear U.S. in for Long Haul

Article excerpt

Chief financial officers in the U.S. and around the world say the global recession will last well into 2010. Companies plan dramatic cuts to employment and capital spending and anticipate double-digit earnings declines over the next year. Corporations are troubled by the actions of the Obama Administration and Congress, and only one-third believe that Federal stimulus activities have helped--or will help--the economy, according to a CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey.

Here is a summary of the findings:

* A mere 35% of CFOs say the U.S. economic recovery will begin in 2009, with most expecting recovery to begin in 14 months.

* Employment is expected to fall in the U.S. (5.6% reduction), Europe (7.6%), and Asia (3.2%) over the next year. In addition to layoffs, a majority of firms report wage freezes or cuts, as well as reductions in hours worked.

* Weak consumer demand and financial market woes are major external concerns. Working capital management is a primary internal concern, as is maintaining employee productivity and morale. …

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